Animal Love Lessons

Animal Love Lessons

Few things that the my favorite animals taught me about pure and primal love
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When you are a relationship expert, it seems there is no escaping love lessons. Whether I go to a playground, the circus, the grocery store, or the laundromat, I'm always picking up jewels of relationship wisdom. But my visit to the San Diego Zoo this weekend may have trumped them all. Every stop along the way served up some sort of lesson in love. By studying the simplicity of our furry, feathered and scaly friends, I noticed how our complicated lives unnecessarily complicate our love lives. The animals at the zoo just get it. They have such an unpolluted way of taking care of themselves and of each other. Of course they don't have jobs, dreams, taxes to pay and a zillion other things that can distract them from focusing on what really matters, but even still I think it is worthwhile, to stop and observe the methods of a few favorite animals and see what learnings you can extract and apply to your own ways of love. To get you started, here are a few things that my favorite animals taught me about pure and primal love this weekend:

Orangutans prioritize play.

These red-haired, spaghetti-armed primates live to be silly. Constantly swinging from ropes, flipping over branches, playing peek a boo and tugging on each other’s beards just to crack a smile out of one other, these guys are always looking for a reason to have fun.

Love lesson learned: Relationships need a good dose of teasing, taunting and a lot of fun!

Ducks believe in loyalty.

One of the few monogamous creatures in the animal kingdom, family first is the motto of the duck. Whether on land or in water, ducks always stick together and appear to be harmonious while doing so. They wait for each other when one is slower, always looking out for each other's best interest.

Love lesson learned: Commitment is simply a decision to go the distance with your chosen one, no matter what.

Pandas snuggle for snuggle’s sake.

Of all the animals at the zoo, the pandas get the most oohs and aahs because they are the cuddliest. Constantly snuggling with each other, and not just at the baby stage, they appear to need the warmth offered when close to one another. That warmth projects outwards and can be felt between sets of bears.

Love lesson learned: Snuggling does the body and spirit good.

Monkeys appreciate sex!

The monkeys were in high heat this weekend, getting busy for their passerbys. No quarters needed for these cage shows either as these furry creatures were all about exhibitionist displays of love. Furthermore, they did not shy away from experimental positioning or dominant and submissive role sharing.

Love lesson learned: Free and frequent sex is a must!

Gorillas meditate daily.

During my ten-minute visit to the gorilla exhibit, the grown-ups were all in yoga-like poses, deeply meditating on who knows what. Perfectly peaceful, these amazing creatures were unfazed by the crowds and each other… until the two little ones came to flip over their ‘do not disturb’ signs, at which point the adults happily engaged with their children, seemingly recharged.

Love lesson learned: Members of a relationship need to be internally balanced and properly rejuvenated to be the best partner they can be.

Polar Bears place value on patience.

My visit included multiple feeding times and the polar bears (the most revered exhibit at this zoo) were inarguably the most patient . They waited calmly for their zookeeper and were kind upon being fed, taking each scrap delicately and appreciatively.

Love lesson learned: Good things are worth waiting for.

Giraffes are unselfish.

I watched a mama giraffe in all of her long-legged glory pass down leaves to her little-legged baby. On two instances she went to feed herself but her baby nudged at her wanting to be fed so she handed her, her leaves. The baby then nuzzled with the mama giraffe in appreciation.

Love lesson learned: When you truly someone, giving is oftentimes more of a gift than receiving.

Peacocks are honorable.

The peacocks at this zoo roam free and often in pairs. When a security vehicle turned a corner, the male peacock reactively fanned its beautiful feathers in all of their glory, protecting the female and announcing to the driver to stop until its lady could pass. An absolutely honorable and chivalrous display that melted my heart!

Love lesson learned: A lady should expect to be treated like a lady.

Hyenas understand forgiveness.

When food was tossed in the hyena pit, the two cats aggressively went after it – only one prevailed, leaving the other hungry and angry. Seconds later though the winner approached the loser, nuzzled noses in a seemingly ‘forgive and forget’ gesture and the two were friendly again, strolling the pit side by side.

Love lesson learned: Life is too short to hold grudges.

Birds offer space.

Among the great variety of birds I saw at the zoo, one commonality was that they gave each other needed space. They would visit on a common branch, communicate and then one would flee for alone time. The cycle would then repeat all over again.

Love lesson learned: Healthy relationships need time together and breathing room.

When the animals seem to have it all right, sort of makes you rethink the term "dating jungle"... perhaps we make it more complicated than it needs to be...

Cover Image Credit: Flickr.com

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To Everyone Who Hasn't Had Sex Yet, Wait For Marriage, It's The Right Move

If you have not had sex yet, wait.

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Premarital sex is not a new concept, no matter how much people like to pretend it is. You can trace scripture and historical texts back thousands of year to see that lust and fornication have been a problem since… well, since we humans have been problems.

They tell you in sex ed that sex causes you to form a bond with someone. They throw some big chemical names at you that are apparently in your body and cause that emotional attachment to happen, then you move on (or back to) how important condoms are and why STDs are so scary.

As a middle schooler or teenager, you can't understand what it means to become permanently connected to someone as a result of a quick, physical act.

If you haven't even had your first kiss, you really can't imagine what it's like to develop such a complex and intimate connection with someone because you have yet to feel the butterflies in your stomach from a kiss. So you really don't know what it's like to have a whole different type of feeling in your stomach.

You never forget your first love. It's one of the most cliche things you consistently hear, but it's true. Ask anyone. I guarantee your parents can still spurt out their first love's name in a few seconds. And most people never forget their first time. I know all my friends can recount that often awkward and slightly terrifying moment as if it happened an hour ago. When you mix those two, especially if you are in your teens, oh boy.

You never forget that. No matter how hard you try.

Everything you hear about sex is true: it's amazing, fantastic, life-changing, etc. There's a reason people have done it as frequently as they do, for as long as they have. But every time you sleep with someone, you leave a piece of yourself with them. Every time you choose to take that final physical step with someone, you cannot go back and collect that piece of your dignity and soul that you left with someone.

So, imagine what happens when you break up with someone you've slept with. Or that you just hooked up with. You have given someone a little slice of yourself forever. And you can never get it back. And imagine what happens when you do that multiple times. You give a piece of yourself to five, 10, 15, 20 or more people. Then you meet the person that you want to spend forever with. And you no longer have that whole part of you. You've given pieces away, and you can no longer give those to the love of your life.

So, save those pieces for your future spouse.

If you have not had sex yet, wait. If you have, consider not giving more pieces of yourself away to people who are not your spouse. Sex was created to be between two spouses, nobody else. So we need to try to maintain its integrity.

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Actual Nice Guys Do Exist, But We Don't Come Easy

We are out there, but there are reasons you can't find us.

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Guys hear it all of the time from their female counterparts, especially good guys: "My guy is rude and we're going to break up," or we hear, "Now that I'm single and have had my heart broken, I'm wondering if there really are nice guys out there." Yeah, well there's something to this and it might surprise you.

First off, the numbers game, because if you have read any of my articles, you know I like to use numbers and statistical data to make my points and arguments. Here is one that will blow your mind: as of 2017, the last time they actually processed the numbers, we had 7.53 billion people on Earth. 7.53 BILLION! That's a real number-look it up! Google it! I promise it is there and let's face it, Google is so advanced now, it finds everything and practically knows everything. Dig a little deeper in this and you will find that 49.5% of the world are females. That means that there are more guys than girls on planet Earth and the numbers game is actually more in your favor than ours.

So, what's the problem? Well, there are a few avenues we can take in asking why. First and foremost, the standards you have set might not be the same kind of standards that are truly in your heart. It's true: girls like bad guys for whatever reason, but c'mon you don't marry the bad guy if you really want it to last. Secondly, you might be settling with that kind of attraction and you're better than that and you probably don't even realize it!

That is a truly scary part because chances are, you're worth way more than that and you just haven't realized your self-worth, at least on the surface. That's not bad though, that's part of life. Finally, it isn't all about you and your faults, nice guys have them too.

We've been burned by girls we've adored, and we've been hurt by them too.

We have experienced toxic relationships just like you have and you're not wanting to see guys like that. Chances are, you've already friend zoned a guy that has always wanted to date you or is really worth your time and you just didn't pay attention.

Timing is everything and if he isn't shy, he hasn't asked you out yet because he either has reservations that he's not the guy you're looking for at the moment or he's got his own stuff going on trying to better himself. These guys love being your friend, but chances are have wanted something better because he's already seen you on the other end of being in the same position he has. It's not that he isn't trying to be assertive, he would be. However, he's thinking "well even though she's my type, I'm clearly not hers" and that's a real thing, ladies.

Nice guys may not be jerks but that doesn't mean they are betas. Some of us like to hunt, fish, go to the beach, drive really fast, ride rollercoasters, shoot guns at a range, or going to the bar to have a couple of beers. There are a lot of alpha males that do mainly things (such as grow a beard and listen to metal music) and still are just genuinely nice.

Here's a huge disconnect in relationships: many women consider a nice man, is a weak man.

That's not true either. You cross a nice man, you'll know it and you'll see a different side of him when he's angry. He'll be temporarily the guy you broke up with before him. The difference is he'll apologize to you and actually mean it. You'll realize he was just mad and that was a temporary thing because in the back of your mind you understand that you finally achieved in getting what you were looking for.

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There are nice guys who fit both of that criteria that will adore you for who you are, spoil you in a way you've probably never experienced before, and love you as much as a boyfriend can that in some ways (not the creepy way) remind you of that care that your father has for you. Because ultimately that's what you want right — a guy you know your dad would like and an ultimately a guy that you'd be proud of introducing him to your dad? You don't want your dad second guessing your choice like when Brian Cranston gets pissed at his daughter for bringing James Franco home in "Why him."

What I'm saying is for whatever the reason you might not realize, you have absolutely been settling. I'm telling you to STOP! Stop settling and showing yourself you don't deserve better because you do. You want that cheesy happily ever after and ending you see in romcoms and Hallmark movies? Realize how valuable you are and what you can bring to a relationship with a nice guy. You're not settling by picking a nice guy if that's truly what you want, you're getting a forever, not a Friday.

Unless there's something special about you, people do tend to not open up too fast and there are reasons for that. If I do, then you're extremely special and when I mean extremely special, I'm talking you're a pearl in a mountain full of empty oyster shells. Sometimes I come off bored or disinterested. That means that I'm playing my hand or I'm debating on whether this is gonna go anywhere — try harder.

Nothing worth having is easy: you gotta fight for it.

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